Kenny Jackett reveals why Gareth Evans will be important to Portsmouth after finding himself in the cold

Kenny Jackett welcomed the prospect of a refreshed Gareth Evans boosting Pompey for an intense period of fixtures.

Tuesday, 21st January 2020, 6:00 am

Jackett admitted the attacking midfielder has been ‘very unlucky’ to find himself out of the first-team picture.

But the Blues boss is set to bring the 31-year-old back in for the EFL Trophy clash with Scunthorpe, which continues a run of five games in 15 days.

Sign up to our Portsmouth FC newsletter

The i newsletter cut through the noise

Jackett acknowledged that was harsh on Evans, but with his men fighting on three fronts he’s pleased he can call on his energy and impetus for the games on the horizon.

He said: ‘Gareth’s been out for a little bit and comes back fresh, so I won’t hesitate to use him.

‘It’s not necessarily cast in stone and there’s good options for that third or attacking midfield position.

Gareth Evans. Picture: Jason Brown

‘That’s where I see him, as one of those three midfield players being able to break forward off the striker.

‘There will be opportunities. He was unlucky to be out of the matchday squad, there’s no doubt about that. Very unlucky.

‘But we’ve obviously got a few players available in terms of numbers. Long may that continue.

‘Games come thick and fast and with injuries and energy it can thin out.’

Jackett now views Evans as one of his three primary options in the central attacking role behind the striker within his 4-2-3-1 formation.

John Marquis and Andy Cannon are seen as his competitors in that position, with Cameron McGeehan comfortable there but deployed deeper so far

Jackett added: ‘Gareth’s good for wide areas and an overlapping full-back. I’ve used him in wide areas. In recent times it’s been more on the left than the right.

‘In terms of a 10 position I’ve gone with Andy Cannon as the attacking midfield player.

‘On Saturday and different times I’ve gone for a second forward which has given John a bit of a free role behind Ellis (Harrison).

‘We probably needed midfield protection a bit more on Saturday by the end. When we went to a third midfield player it helped us, so was proved.

‘In terms of Gareth as well, they’ve been my options and they are good options.’